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Co Antrim angler found guilty of fishing offences after being caught at Woodburn Reservoir

Woodburn Reservoir in Carrickfergus.

A County Antrim angler was found guilty of fishing offences and fined a total of £541 at Laganside Magistrates Court today.


Aurel Ciurar (23), of Ava Park, Belfast, was convicted, in his absence, of five breaches of legislation as prescribed under the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966 and Public Angling Estate (PAE) Byelaws 2005.


The breaches were unlicensed fishing; fishing on DAERA’s waters without a permit; failing to provide his name and address; obstructing and impeding an authorised person, and using unpermitted fishing methods.



On the 29 April 2022, DAERA Fisheries Protection Officers were on routine patrol of the Public Angling Estate (PAE) at North Woodburn Reservoir, Carrickfegus when they observed Mr Ciurar along with another unidentified male fishing with a number of fishing rods.


Both men refused to provide officers with their details, to enable checks to take place to ensure they had the correct fishing license and permissions to fish legally at the location. Their fishing equipment was seized as a result of failing to provide their names and addresses.


They were also found to be using sweetcorn as bait, which is not permitted.



Officers were able to identify Mr Ciurar by using the registration details of the vehicle the men used to leave the location. The identity of the second man has never been confirmed.


The total fine of £541 included:


  • £50 for the use of a vegetable matter (sweetcorn) as bait; 

  • £75 for possession of an unlicensed fishing engine;

  • £75 for fishing on the department’s waters without a permit;

  • £150 for obstructing and impeding an authorised officer, and

  • £150 for failing to provide name and address along with court costs of £26 and an offender levy of £15.



DAERA Inland Fisheries enforcement is committed to pursue those who fish illegally. If you are aware or suspect illegal fishing, you should contact DAERA Inland Fisheries on 0300 200 7860 or outside office hours contact 0800 807 060.


• Refusal to provide your name and address and obstructing or impeding an authorised officer is an offence. 

• A fishing licence is required to fish lawfully for any freshwater fish.

• A permit issued by DAERA Inland Fisheries is required to fish lawfully on the Departments (PAE) Public Angling Estate.

• Bait of a vegetable matter is not permitted to be used on designated game, stocked trout fisheries within the Departments (PAE) Public Angling Estate.



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